GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) Foxconn recruiters were in Green Bay Wednesday looking for potential employees. And as Kris Schuller reports, while the company is controversial, many have hope this business will be in Wisconsin for a long time.
At NWTC people like Brenda Thompson gather to interview with recruiters from Foxconn, the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer building a new plant in Racine County.
“Kind of heard of the company up and coming in the area, thought it would be a great experience and see what could happen,” said Thompson, who just graduated from the college.
In 2017 Foxconn announced it would build that facility in Southeast Wisconsin, investing $10 billion and creating 13,000 jobs. The plant is expected to open next year and NWTC President Dr. Jeff Rafn says this job fair is part of that process.
“They are going to be a major employer. I know they have their critics, but they’re going to be a major employer,” said Rafn.
In 2018 Foxconn said it would also open innovation centers around the state. And in fact purchased the Watermark building in downtown Green Bay.
“We’ve had conversations with them about how they’ll use the building and what our part will be in that,” Rafn said.
The building expected to house 200 Foxconn employees. But so far it’s just empty space.
“Look, it’s no surprise that people come in with aggressive timelines and sometimes projects take longer than anticipated,” said Green Bay Economic Development Director Kevin Vonck.
Vonck says while the process appears drawn-out, his Foxconn contacts say the innovation center is still a go.
“They’ve still said they want to move forward with the project here and we’ll be ready when they are,” Vonck said.
It’s an expectation that brought all these job seekers to the college; the belief that Foxconn is here for the long-term.
“I really, truly think it’s promising,” said one job seeker.
We tried to speak with Foxconn officials at NWTC about the innovation center and job fair – but they declined our requests. Wisconsin promised billions in tax incentives to Foxconn – to build in the state.